Friday 17 April 2015

Souvenirs and Other Stuff.

While on holiday I finished the shawl made with the chunky Noro yarn I was given by my SIL. Not only was it not quite the colours I had anticipated but I'd also requested sock yarn when she'd asked what I'd like. Still, it was very nice of her to go to the trouble of getting the yarn and posting it to me. I sewed in the ends sitting on a bench in the garden once back home. It's a very simple triangular shawl, the pattern is "Morning Has Broken" and it's available (free) on Ravelry.

Also while on holiday I bought more yarn. Not only does Pittenweem have pretty cottages, a harbour, a beach, an ice-cream shop, a chippy, a chocolate cafe and great weather, but it also hasa very nice wool shop! I bought three balls of lovely soft Amitola 80% wool, 20% silk for yet another shawl though without a specific pattern in mind.

Beautiful texture and gorgeous colours. I decided it deserved a new pattern rather than one of the ones I've done before. I spent a pleasant hour or so seeing what other people had used the yarn for on Ravelry and decided I would attempt to make one of these. The pattern is 16 pages long, gulp! I started it at a craft night - not a good idea, plenty of chat and cake is not conducive to figuring out a new pattern, however I had another bash this morning and it's coming on much better now...

My only other holiday souvenir was this little pot on the left which was from Crail Pottery. I've been having a massive clear out of pots and vases so it's only ones I really like which I have kept. Having said that, the one in the background with the little flowers is another new purchase, but hey, I really liked it (Asda, £4)

 Nice to be home, especially when the sun is shining.

Some baking for craft night...

Chocolate brownies (absolutely loaded with sugar)

Iced biscuits.

I liked the rabbits.

Our shattered rear windscreen.

The cat is always desperate to get in the car - not sure what she thought of this. Anyway, it's now fixed, thankfully.

The garden is bursting into bloom. We've had some beautiful sunny weather recently and we've all been needing it - people, pets and plants!

Well, it's been lovely to catch up with the blog. School starts back next week so spare time will be much restricted again but it won't be long till the summer holidays (eek!).

Happy weekend...

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Fife - the Other Bits.

Here are the last of my photos from Fife.

A coppery section of beach between Pittenweem and St Monan's.

 A beastly rock on the same section of coast.

I took some crochet with me. I've been making a shawl with the Noro yarn my SIL sent me. I asked her to get me "earthy colours" assuming she'd divine from that that I meant earthy tones of purple, blue and green - how presumptious I am! I'm not sure whether I like it or not, it's for wearing inside when it's winter and things get a little chilly at the computer and it is indeed lovely and cosy. I'll sew in the ends and have a proper look at it...

A view across fields taken during our cycle ride from Crail to Cambo Sands. The countryside in this part of Fife isn't terribly interesting, neither are there great roads for cycling . That's not why people come here though and the pretty fishing villages and coastline more than make up for it.

Shells from Cambo Sands.

Cambo Sands. A lovely beach. It was popular with families but not overly crowded, as you can see. Some people went in for a dip, in the North Sea, in April! Brrrr!

Many of the rocks were very regular rectangular shapes. I found out why - they're "all that is left of Kingsbarns harbour built in the 19th century for transporting potatoes and coal."

The next day we had a whirlwind visit to St Andrews...

The remains of the cathedral.

The cathedral was at one time the most important in Scotland.

The remains are looked after by Historic Scotland. It didn't seem necessary to pay for a wander round the grounds as the gates are open and the ticket office is tucked away in the middle of the site. However, if you want to climb St Rule's Tower for the views you do need to pay for entry. Fortunately we're members so we got to ascend the 152 spiral steps for "free".

It was worth putting up with the wails of protest from A (who has now decided she hates spiral staircases) for the views.

 Here you can see the castle, where we will be visiting next.

 Towards the town centre.

We are parked in a space with a two hour limit, so after a quick zoom round we say good bye to the cathedral and walk the short distance to the castle.

There's not a lot left of it, but it was still interesting to visit (if you're already a Historic Scotland member or have some kind of pass so don't have to pay the full whack). We went down the mine and counter mine (except hubby who bailed out early claiming claustrophobia - it was a bit tight in places!), and tried to imagine what it would be like being imprisoned in the famous bottle dungeon.

We didn't linger long in St Andrews - we didn't even visit a single shop or cafe. The limited parking was one reason, but it was also a fantastic day weather-wise so we went back to Pittenweem and spent a magical afternoon on the small sandy beach there instead.

Beautiful sky.

As Fife is not that far away, we could spend more time there even after we'd had to leave the cottage as we didn't have a long journey home. We decided to have a picnic lunch at Tentsmuir beach. We weren't that taken with the main beach. It was big and sandy, but a little boring - no rock pools to explore, and windy. It was also quite busy and some of the folk visiting had noisy music with them (a pet hate of mine - I don't like having to hear other people's taste in music), however, there are nice trails through the woods all round and we got on the bikes and headed out one of the tracks. We eventually (not because it was far, but because N being difficult about cycling) found a path leading to another section of beach.

Often there are seal colonies there and we did spot lots of seals out on one of the sand bars (I wasn't able to get a decent photos).

We also found the biggest shells ever! This was the first one I picked up. It's a little cracked and was soon rejected in favour of others which have all come home with us. We'd visit Tentsmuir again but would give the main beach a miss and instead head straight out to the more distant stretches of sand.

So a lovely four days in Fife and a part of the world that we all agreed we'd be happy to revisit.

That was last week. This week is not quite panning out as planned. We were to visit my parents who stay in Galloway but they have both caught some kind of virus so we are staying away. I then arranged to meet some friends in Glasgow today. Around midday we were all set to leave, I shut one of the back doors of the car and the rear windscreen simultaneously shattered. Grrrrrrrrr...

Monday 13 April 2015


Another lovely village to visit in the East Neuk of Fife is Crail. We parked the car here, unloaded the bikes and took an "interesting" series of tracks to visit a beach for most of the day (photos of that to follow another day). We returned to Crail in time to visit the pottery (I bought a teeny pot), to have cake in a cafe (lemon meringue pie for me, double chocolate gateaux for the children and carrot cake for hubby, all eaten before any thought of photographing them entered my head!), and to have a wander round the harbour...

We also met a very friendly cat. He was desperate to get a pet - we'd watched him from up the hill approach a few people and wrap himself round their legs to no avail, so we went down especially to see him.


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